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To want her to see me as mum, not 'the lady I live with'?

(35 Posts)
Lilka Sun 10-Mar-13 17:00:35

I have 3 DC's, and DD2 is nearly 17. I adopted her when she was 8 years old.

This is tagging on the end of the last month or so, after she met her other/first/birth mum in a shop (complete surprise, just bumped into each other) and they've been facebooking each other etc since. And I have been through a lot of emotions regarding that

Anyway, today she gave me a mothers day card and gift - obviously organised by DD1 but this is what happens every year so doesn't bother me - and I was ever so happy until about half an hour ago. Apart from giving me the card, she's not been pleasant to be with all day. Argumentative, defiant, now she's completely ignoring me (not responding at all when I talk to her) to play with her neice (DD1's little girl) instead. So I went on Facebook to wish my friends a good day, and found DD2 has posted a lovely message to her other mum, 'Dear Mum, I luv you soooo much hav a luvly day, ur amazing xxxxxxx'... (lots of kisses and hug signs)...and Mum is happy and telling DD what a sweetie pie she is and how much she loves her little pumpkin. Great. Except that I feel like shit.

I want a facebook message telling me she loves me (she did send her mum a MD card, the message wasn't a replacement for that) as well. I want her to see me as 'mum' as well. I'm quite fine with being one of two mums, I really am, but I'm miserable feeling like 'nice lady I live with' compared with 'actual mum'. sad

And yes, I know this must be a hard day for DD and throwing up lots of hard stuff for her. I do get it. But I've spent 8 years being mum, doing mum things...fighting for her in school, fighting for her to get therapy and going through it with her, loving her, trying to make her feel safe, and actually living with her and her emotional, behavioural and MH issues. But this really bloody hurts. AIBU here?

BubblegumPie Sun 10-Mar-13 17:03:48

Aww bless you YANBU, this might be better in the adoption section though?

Unfortunately and fortunately for you, you are the Mum. The one that does the shit work, looks after her, worries about her, gets nothing back sometimes, waits up, loves her... That is the Mum job.

If it feels better, in our house we refer to FB messages of love and support as being literally the least effort you can make.

OutragedFromLeeds Sun 10-Mar-13 17:07:43

No YANBU, but neither is she really, it must be very confusing.

It must really hurt though sad

I know we don't do hugs on mumsnet, but would you like a manly slap on the back?

tabulahrasa Sun 10-Mar-13 17:10:58

You are the mum - you're the one getting the teenage mardiness.

WallyBantersJunkBox Sun 10-Mar-13 17:12:08

Yanbu Lilka I don't really know what to say to make you feel better.

There is a novelty value to this relationship, one day she will look back and recognize everything you've done for her.

Does she want to live with her mum? Doesn't she ever question the adoption?

You must have brought her up to be gracious and forgiving as a person, that she isn't angry with abandonment issues around her mother, kudos to you. X

Smartiepants79 England Sun 10-Mar-13 17:12:44

No.
Sadly it seems that not living with her birth mother has clearly made her forget/ forgive all that happened that led to her being adopted in the first place.
This relationship will always be complicated but hopefully as she grows into an adult she will understand better what you have given her and the relationship will continue to strengthen.
It is completely reasonable that you are hurt but try not to dwell. She is a teenager in a very complicated and emotional situation. It isn't 'personal' if you understand me?!

WilsonFrickett Sun 10-Mar-13 17:15:17

Of course it's hurtful, but you are her mum. The person she can show her mardy side to, and know that she will be loved regardless. So she's sent a message to her birth mother on facebook, that's like taking a breath in to teenagers - it means nothing. She's hurt and confused and she's showing it to you because she knows you can cope with her emotions.

I do know it's tough though. ((hugs))

needsadviceplease Sun 10-Mar-13 17:15:32

Birth mother is flighty, unreliable, must be demonstratively loved and catered to.

Your love is taken for granted, safe.

It must be very hard, though.

AgentZigzag Sun 10-Mar-13 17:15:41

Like you say, she's all mixed up at the minute.

She will realise what you mean to her in time, try not to take it too much to heart <hug>

AgentZigzag Sun 10-Mar-13 17:16:10

And what needsadvice said.

Cherriesarelovely Sun 10-Mar-13 17:23:01

Of course YANBU, anyone would be upset I think. Trouble is it must be such a strange, confusing situation for her too. I have no idea of the circumstances of your Dd's adoption but my Dd was born with the help of a kind friend who was a donor. He is a lovely person but has never had any real interest in Dd often forgetting to send a Christmas or birthday card. However, Dd, having only met him a handful of times refers to him as "my wonderful daddy"!

I'm not being critical of her (or really him, he was very kind to help me and I'm sure will develop a relationship with Dd as she gets older!) for that but it does intrigue me! I think it is that a child's self esteem is very closely linked to how their parents regard them. Therefore perhaps in your Dds situation and my Dds situation they romanticise this relationship because it makes them feel good about themselves iyswim!

I don't blame you at all though, I would feel just as hurt. Sending a huge hug to you.

Lilka Sun 10-Mar-13 17:32:59

I normally do post in adoptions, but it's very quiet today.

She has always tended to idolise her mum. She remembers lots of things that happened when she was little very well, but her coping mechanisms to deal with it is shut it off, dissociate, and live in a world where her other mum is perfect. She shuts her memories down in one compartment of her brain until she flashbacks or something like that (she has complex PTSD)

No amount of parenting and therapy has been able to change that so far. And now I worry that she never be able to cope with things any differently, and I will still be facing this next year, in 5 years and so on

Yes, I'll go for a pat on the back outraged, or a hug. I do hugs!

marjproops Sun 10-Mar-13 17:34:34

YOU are her MOTHER.
YOU are her MUM.
I dont know the other womans story, wether YOUR child was taken away by ss or was discarded, but YOU love her, YOU bought her up and nurtured her.

YA soooooooNBU.
I hate the term 'birth mother, biological'etc etc.

If child was unwanted and discarded, then 'they' were just a breeder.

If another circumstance, then I cant be so judgy-pants!!!

Im not surprised you're hurt...this has hit a nerve. I know people in this circumstance.

marjproops Sun 10-Mar-13 17:37:51

I know its hard for your DD and must be very confusing for her, I do understand that side of it, but it does hurt.

I hurt when DC shouts at me when shes told off..'youre not my mum!' and Im completely her mum! diff situation but still hurts. so much more must it for you, OP.

Happy MOTHERS day from me thanks

Tailtwister Sun 10-Mar-13 17:45:30

Goodness OP, the whole thing must be extremely hard for you and I can understand why you feel hurt. Like others have already said, you are her mum and her apparent indifference to you shows how secure she feels with you and confident you love her no matter what. That in itself shows what a brilliant mum you are.

I don't know what to say from her perspective as I have no experience of what she's going through. She's 17, has recently rekindled a relationship with the person who gave birth to her and of course must be very confused.

I hope things settle down soon OP.

Catchingmockingbirds Sun 10-Mar-13 17:45:43

You're not BU to feel hurt lilka, it must be very hard for you. I agree with the points made by the other posters. Your love is unconditional whereas her birth mothers love needs more effort and more show as she hasn't been there.

Is the birth mother interested in having a relationship with her? Has she tried to meet up and work on a relationship or is it just facebook messages exchanged between them?

Goldmandra Sun 10-Mar-13 17:49:31

She is secure in the knowledge that she can behave like a typical teenaged mardy brat to you and you will still love her, care for her and be there for her when she needs you. Not pleasant but a backhanded compliment.

She knows she doesn't have that from her birth mother. She feels insecure in that relationship so she works hard to make sure it stays intact.

It must hurt like hell but remember you are not one of two mums. You are her mum. The other woman lost the right to call herself that when she let awful things happen to your DD and I am sure she knows it as does your DD deep down.

Catchingmockingbirds Sun 10-Mar-13 17:55:40

You are not one of two mums. You are her mum.

Yes, I agree with gold on this.

Corygal Sun 10-Mar-13 18:00:08

YANBU. You are an amazing mum - the amazing mum.

The 'other woman' doesn't count for much, and, sadly/thank the Lord won't ever count for a lot for your DD. But DD's in the first throes of a crush - I hope the fallout won't hit both of you too hard.

Honestly, although it must hurt cruelly, it's not worth actually getting upset about - OW is just a flash in the pan, as I hope neither of you will be too distressed to find out. OTOH, OW might provide DD with a friendship, so good might come out of it.

Lilka Sun 10-Mar-13 20:40:57

DD2 has always seen her first mother as her mum. She did live with her for 4 years and then spent over 3 years on care visiting with her every week. So by the time she turned 8 she was very clear that she had a mummy, whom she loved. However social services still felt that she could be adopted. I was told upfront that DD was 'loyal' to her mum and therefore I couldn't just come in and 'take over'. I said fine, and I have told her from day 1 that I am not trying to make myself 'only mum' and it's ok to have 2 mums, and love 2 people etc. I think if I had tried to discount her mum, she would have had even more trouble forming an attachment to me than she did. The good news is, other mum is supportive of the adoption, I know it would be far worse than it is now, if DD had met a mother who insisted that DD had been stolen or something like that.

I have maintained letters with photos and an occasional video etc for 8 years, which DD has always participated and mum writes back, and I know it made a differnence that in her letters she has given permission for DD to love me and be happy here, by referring to me as mum and being happy for her etc.

So I am do feel I am 1 of 2 mums, although we have different roles in her life. But this whole Mothers Day thing and everything else has thrown me for one. I just want to be mum, and I'm so jealous that DD is not able to do some of the things for me she does for her other mum

But I think she does at least feel secure enough here, and think that this is her home, as some of you said. No small feat for her smile

Devora Mon 11-Mar-13 22:46:23

Ah Lilka. Huge applause to you for taking a traumatised little girl into your home and heart and making her feel so loved that she can take you utterly for granted.

This must be exquisitely painful. I am some years off having mine reach adolescence and what you are going through with this makes me absolutely shudder.

You are always so generous, sensitive and conscientious about the 'other mother' in your posts, and it must also feel terribly unfair that dd2 and her birth mother are being so crassly insensitive about your feelings in all this. It's because you're the mum that you're being the emotional caretaker, and they're not.

I'm not scared of hugs either and I'm sending you loads. xxx

And hugs from me too, Lilka, this is shite and I really feel for you.

nailak Mon 11-Mar-13 23:01:33

wow, i cant imagine being a little girl who goes from having weekly contact with a mum that she loves, and has been constantly in her life, to communicating by letters, at the age of 8! It must be a very hard thing that doesnt leave you.

It is no wonder she feels the way she does!

However I do think dds behaviour seems to be normal teenage behaviour!

MiniMonty Mon 11-Mar-13 23:11:10

It sucks today but don't sweat it... You're living with a 17 year old girl who you have brought up. She will reject you, call you names, says she hates you, spit on everything you're done for her (while eating your food, taking your money and living in your excellent hotel) and this is to be expected for any healthy normal teenager with good parents. Sounds ludicrous doesn't it?

But take heart - you are not supposed to be her best friend, facebook messages say you are not even her favourite Mum this week but just wait until a crisis hits her and see who she runs to...
At that point, grin quietly into your Baileys and know what "Mum" actually means.

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